unfortunately I had to say goodbye to my little budgie girls Elli and Flocke.
I will tell you the whole story. I'm sorry if it is getting rather long, but I really want to write it down.
I have had a little flock of 6 birds (4 budgies, 2 cockatiels) for three years now. Six birds was my limit, because my apartment is pretty small.
Then, in November, I was offered a beautiful male budgie who was living without any budgie company. Despite of the limit of six birds that I had once set for myself, I let my heart say yes and took "Buddy" home. He and Flocke became a couple!
Flocke has had several lipomas, I have taken her to the vet, she got a iodine supplement regularly. She seemed to be feeling fine and Buddy really loved her, although she looked really different from him.
It was a cute but short lovestory. Five weeks ago, on January 19, they were flying around and having a good time. When they had returned to the aviary, I went shopping, and when I came back two hours later, I found Flocke at the aviary floor. She was very weak and died in my hand after 5 minutes.
One week later, we took Motte to the vet, because she had dark spots above her nostrils. When we were in the waiting room, there suddenly was blood in her droppings.
She didn't look sick at all. The vet took an X-ray and found out that Motte had internal bleedings. It looked like a lot of blood on the pictures.
She also had blood in her crop. She got vitamin K and electrolytes. I don't know how she did it, but she survived!
The vet and I assume that she has a clotting disorder and that she has had it for quite some time already. Motte hasn't been a good at flying for months, maybe even years. She probably had trouble breathing because there was blood compressing her lungs.
So another week later, we came for a control X-ray and it looked fine - except for the fact that there was "something" at the bottom of her belly. She got antibiotics, because the vet assumed she could have hepatitis, so that the intestines would be pressed downwards by the swollen liver. He also told me that it could also be cancer. I refused to believe that, because that would have been a really big coincidence. I have had budgies for 15 years now and it was the first time I let a vet take x-rays. And within those 7 days in between the two x-rays a tumor should have grown?
Luckily the antibiotics seemed to work, this "thing" has gotten a lot smaller!
All the birds are now getting a supplement that supports the liver...
I also took Elli to the vet when I was there with Motte, because she seemed to be more tired than usual. It was just a feeling, there was nothing that I could describe except for her being "different". The vet didn't find anything unusual, although he checked the crop and droppings (microscope) thoroughly.
Another week later, Sunday, Feb. 8, Elli was suddenly really cold and tired. She slept all afternoon and I decided to take her to the vet the next morning. I put her in a different cage, so that she could sleep in a more quiet place. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, she dropped off of her perch. She was very weak and could hardly move. I kept her in my hand all night... It broke my heart to see her that way. I hoped that she would be able to leave soon, but she didn't. She was still alive when I took her to the vet at 9 a.m. She couldn't even sit anymore and she really looked like a dead bird, but her eyes were still open. It broke my heart. My vet took her to sleep, I held her in my hand. This was February 9, my birthday. The vet said that Elli had internal bleedings also, probably in her stomach.
Of course I checked the whole room for any kind of poison. The bad thing is, I have been careful in the past. Lotte, one of the cockatiels, is very curious and chews on everything. I use stainless steel for bird toys only, I replaced all of the chains years ago. No plants in their reach, no heavy metal anywhere they go.
I let the vet check all of the birds' droppings for yeast, for bacteria, etc. Nothing!
I have checked the aviary and the room again and again and still I don't have a clue. I haven't changed anything during the last months, not even the bird food or a single toy or perch.
The only assumption I have left is that there was something wrong with the water. They use chlorine dioxide to disinfect the water, and although the water quality in Germany is really high, the water smelled different during those three weeks. They seem to have used a higher amount of chlorine dioxide, at least that was how it smelled. I couldn't find a lot of informaetion, but somewhere I read that it can irritate and harm the mucosa of the digestive organs and cause bleeding. I do not know how likely my assumption is. The article was about pills that release chlorine dioxide in the stomach, it was not about drinking water.
So this is the long and sad story about the loss of Elli and Flocke. I hope the others stay healthy and that it has been the water. If there is a different reason that I haven't found yet... oh I don't even want to think about it.
I will attach pictures of Elli (green) and the cute couple (Flocke and Buddy).
Thanks for reading, I hope there are not too many mistakes in it.